Flight mode – Torshov, ’05

Published: 4:40 p.m., June 08, 2022Words: Rob Mayer.

Flight Mode is about nostalgia. Whether it’s nostalgic feelings of nostalgia, rose-tinted memories, or trying to piece together the people they once were, they found a very emotive seam to mine. On ‘TX’s debut EP, ’98’, this was done perfectly, and on ‘Torshov, ’05’, the Oslo-based band repeated the trick spectacularly.

Like its predecessor, ‘Toshov, ’05’ is named after a place singer Sjur Lyseid called home at some point in his life. The last time was in Texas, where he spent time as an exchange student, this time it’s a neighborhood in Oslo where he spent part of his 20s.

Only four songs, it’s also an EP that builds on the plan laid out when they debuted. Less indebted to the intimate work of John K Samson and The Weakerthans, we rather find a dexterity that echoes the first works of Death Cab For Cutie, and in particular ‘We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes’ and ‘The Photo Album’ . It is therefore perhaps not surprising to see Chris Walla mixing for two of these songs.

But while nostalgia runs through ‘Torshov ’05’, it never feels like a retread of the past. It’s easy to see similarities to today’s UK emo underground, such as “Twentyfour” and lead single “Togetherness”, with a band refracting the last 20 years of indie rock through a solitary lens. This can only be achieved through an almost scholarly understanding of scenes and trends, but with former Youth Pictures members Florence Henderson and Monzano on board, Flight Mode has lived and breathed emo and indie rock for all period and has a deep well to draw from.

So what we have here are four songs of the highest order, with the preppy opener “Twentyfour” – where Lyseid struggles with mid-20s anxiety – and darker “Do You Remember”, which features a guest tour by Keith Latinen (Empire! Empire! I Was A Lonely Estate/Parting/Count Your Lucky Stars Records) both excellent.

There’s something exciting brewing in Norway, and with the return of Spielbergs and Onsloow’s albums already making their mark, “Torshov, ’05’ could serve as a lightning rod for the fledgling scene.